Keeping Your Toddler Healthy: How To Care For Their Teeth
If you want your child to have a bright, white smile for the rest of their life, it is important to start caring for their teeth when they are young. Avoid cavities with these important tips!
- See a Dentist
Even babies need to go to the dentist. Your child should have his first dental experience by the time he is one. Doing so simply makes good sense; if you get preventative care, you are less likely to spend a lot of money on teeth over time.
- Model Good Habits
You need to start brushing your child’s teeth even before there are teeth. Take a washcloth and dampen it. Rub it gently over the gums. If you want, you can use a very soft toothbrush as well.
When the teeth do start to come out, use an infant toothbrush and clean the teeth in the morning and the evening. When there are teeth that are touching one another, make sure you start flossing as well. Your dentist can give you advice if you are unsure of what to do. Make it fun and they will be more likely to do it.
Always clean the teeth before you lay your child down at night. Once you do so, do not allow them to eat. A little water is fine, but you do not want to hand them a cup of milk.
Mouthwash is something that should be discussed with your dentist. Your little one needs to understand how to spit rather than swallow.
- Watch Out For Bottles
It is not a good idea to lay your child down holding a bottle filled with milk, formula or juice. All of these liquids have sugar, which sticks to the teeth. Naturally, this leads to tooth decay.
If you feel it is necessary to allow your child to go to bed with a bottle, put water in it.
- Avoid Juice
Some parents believe they are doing the right thing by giving their child juice, but all that sugar often leads to tooth decay. Your child should only have about four ounces of juice a day (if that). Make sure you are serving 100 percent fruit juice. Make it something special and not a daily habit.
- Monitor the Sippy Cup
When children move away from the bottle, they often start using a Sippy cup. However, this can be problematic if your child consumes drinks with sugar; the front teeth may decay if they have the Sippy cup in their mouth for most of the day. Monitor your child’s usage. Additionally, use of a Sippy cup in the long term may even result in the need for teeth braces later on in life.
- Be Cautious Of Medications
Most children’s medicine is flavoured and contains sugar. This can lead to cavities, particularly if your child takes medication on a regular basis. If this is the case, speak to your dentist to find out how to care for your child’s teeth properly.